March 10, 2021
Tuesday, March 8th, 2021, was a great day for everybody opposed to the expansion of aquaculture in Segar Cove/Potter Pond.
The CRMC sub-committee considering the matter held its final public ‘workshop’ to deliberate and decide on their recommendation to the full CRMC council. After years of waiting, months of Zoom meetings, hours and hours of public testimony, the sub-committee voted 5-0 to oppose the expansion proposal, dealing a potentially “fatal” blow to the proposed farm in Segar Cove.
While this recommendation is non-binding, and the decision making process is not yet fully complete, it will be difficult for the full CRMC council to disregard this carefully considered recommendation, increasing the likelihood that Segar Cove will remain farm-free, available for ALL public uses, now and into the future.
The sub-committee’s deliberations made clear that the public testimony was crucial to their understanding of the issues involved (conflict with existing public uses, safety, etc.) and instrumental in their decision to oppose. In this instance, and for the time being, the power of the public voice has been heard and heeded. We’re are grateful to all of the members of the public who participated in this process. Give yourselves a round of applause!
We are equally appreciative to the CRMC sub-committee, who took great care in considering this issue, showing patience and professionalism in evaluating the testimony from the applicant, the intervenors, and members of the public. We tip our caps to each and every member of the sub-committee and thank them for many hours of dedicated work on this application.
What’s next? The sub-committee will write up its recommendation and forward it to the full CRMC council, who will make a decision at one of their upcoming meetings, probably sometime in April. In the interim, the applicant may try to introduce “new” evidence to support a reconsideration of the application, which, if allowed, could send the proposal back to the sub-committee for further review. We would oppose such a motion. Should the full CRMC council decide not to allow the farm, the applicant could appeal that decision, too, but given the now long history of votes against this proposal (SK Town Council, Fisheries, CRMC sub-committee, etc.), in addition to the now well documented public opposition, one has to wonder how long the applicant will be willing to swim against the tide.
Whatever happens next, we'll keep a close eye on all of the developments and update you with any significant news.
We’ve won a significant battle in our fight to keep the waters of Segar Cove free and open for all to use. Today, at least, we can celebrate! Huzzah!
Link to story on this from Providence Business News:
Feb. 21, 2021
The final public "workshop" meeting for the Segar Cove oyster expansion proposal will be held on Monday, March 8, from 10:00am - 1:00pm. Join the Zoom meeting HERE.
No public comments will taken at that meeting. The sub-committee will deliberate and decide on their (non-binding) recommendation, which they'll forward to the full CRMC council, who will decide on the matter at a later date.
Speaking of the CRMC, they continue to make news. Check out the most recent EcoRI News story by Frank Carini ("Expired Terms and Illegal Appointments Cast Doubt Over Rhode Island's Powerful Coastal Council") HERE.
Feb. 16, 2021
The CRMC has been in the news recently for a surprise decision on a long running (and much litigated) proposal to expand Champlin's marina on Block Island. Recent articles detailing the history of that proposal, the mechanics of how the most recent decision was reached, plus the RI Attorney General's intervention in the case (along with background and context on the CRMC's history, administrative structure, etc.) can be found HERE, HERE and HERE. We encourage everybody to read these stories as they shed significant light on our struggle to ensure that the Potter Pond / Segar Cove stakeholders voices are heard and properly considered.
Feb. 9, 2021
The meeting scheduled for Feb. 10 has been postponed. When CRMC announces a new date it will be posted here.
Post hearing legal briefs, memoranda of law, exhibits, testimony, can be found HERE
February 8, 2021
The final public meeting for the Segar Cove oyster expansion proposal will be held this coming Wednesday, Feb. 10, from 10:00am to 2:00pm. (See homepage for link.)
The meeting is a "public workshop," wherein the members of the sub-committee will discuss, deliberate and decide on their recommendation for the Segar Cove oyster/scallop proposal. (The sub-committee makes a non-binding recommendation to the full CRMC council, who will decide the matter at a later date.)
Members of the public can view these "workshop" deliberations, but will not be able to participate.
Anybody interested in a deeper dive into the legal documents recently filed by the interveners and the applicant (memorandums of law, statements of fact, exhibits, etc.), can find links to that material on the CRMC home page, HERE.
Following Wednesday's meeting, savepotterpond.org will continue to monitor this process and will update members of our mailing list on any important developments. (Join the mailing list!:)
Thanks to the many members of this group, and those members of the public, who took the time and trouble to write in, to speak, and to participate in this lengthy public (Zoom) meeting process.
January 14, 2021
The CRMC has announced dates for the final public comments meeting, as well as a follow-up 'public workshop' during which the sub-committee will discuss and deliberate on the Raso oyster expansion proposal for Segar Cove.
Final public comments will be on Friday, January 29th, 10:00am to 1:pm. Click HERE for a direct link to the Zoom meeting. (Webinar ID: 867 9463 7780 Passcode: 717828)
The 'workshop' will take place on Wednesday, February 10th, 10:00am to 1:00pm. Click HERE for a direct link to the Zoom meeting. (Webinar ID: 893 2649 2233 Passcode: 463125)
Those of you who were scheduled to speak at an earlier meeting, but, for whatever reason could not attend, should send an email to , explaining your situation and asking if you can be given a speaking slot during the Jan. 29th meeting.
The finish line is in sight for this portion of our fight to keep Segar Cove farm-free. Previous public comment meetings have been inspirational, demonstrating the public's deep commitment to preserving the recreational and scenic character of Segar Cove. Please try and tune in on Jan. 29th and Feb. 10th. Your (online) presence will remind the CRMC that public stakeholders are concerned, engaged, and keeping a close eye on the proceedings.
If you need a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this meeting, contact CRMC offices at 401-783-3370 at least 72 hours prior to the meeting.
CRMC YouTube channel with videos of previous meetings is HERE.
Dec. 11, 2020
Public Comments will begin on Wednesday, Dec. 16th, 10:00am-1:00pm and likely continue at the following meeting Wed., Dec. 30, also 10:00am-1:00pm. Click HERE for a direct link to both (Zoom) meetings. Passcode, if needed, is 216780
Speakers will go in the order of their registration. Each speaker will be given between 3 to 10 minutes to speak.
The list, and order, of registered speakers can be found HERE.
Dec. 3, 2020
In addition to the meeting tomorrow, Dec. 4 (11:00am to 5:30pm, Link HERE), two additional meetings to consider the Raso Segar Cove proposal have been added to the schedule:
Wed., Dec. 16th. AND Wed., Dec. 30th, 10:00am-1:00pm
Join both meetings HERE.
No details are available yet on when the Public Comment period will be. If you would like to speak, but have not signed up, please email Raso27112086@crmc.ri.gov and firstname.lastname@example.org and ask that you be given a speaking slot.
Tomorrow's meeting will continue with the presentation of the opposition's case. Our best guess is that the Public Comment meeting will fall on either the 16th or 30th (or even later?).
Thanks for your support.
Nov. 21, 2020
The next (Zoom) meeting for the Segar Cove oyster expansion proposal will be held Dec. 4, 2020, 11:00am - 5:30pm. Here's the LINK . (The opposition's case continues...)
The public comment meeting is still unscheduled, but will be held "sometime in December." Sign-up for speaking slots is currently closed (!) Only those previously registered will be allowed to speak. If you are not pre-registered, but would still like to speak, we encourage you to email Raso27112086@crmc.ri.gov and ask for a speaking slot and that the registration period be re-opened. You can copy your email to any or all of the CRMC folks listed below.
All voices should be heard at this important meeting!
Videos of the Dec. Nov. 12, 13 and 17 meetings HERE
CRMC's public notice of Dec. 4 meeting HERE
CRMC's statement on public comments meeting: HERE
Jeffrey Willis, Executive Director, CRMC email@example.com,
Ben Goetsch, Aquaculture Coordinator, CRMC firstname.lastname@example.org
Lisa Turner, administrative staff email@example.com
CRMC general phone: 401-783-3370
Take CRMC's Customer Satisfaction Survey: HERE
Nov. 18th, 2020
The next Zoom meeting will be on Dec. 4th, which will finish with the presentations and witness testimony from opponents of the project. Once a link is provided by CRMC, I'll post it here and on the link button on the homepage.
It's likely that the Public Comment will be at a meeting sometime after Dec. 4, on a date/time yet to be determined. Once available, all details will be posted here.
We have asked the CRMC to re-open the registration for speaking slots at that meeting, as the schedule change will no doubt have an impact of people's availability to speak, etc. Stay tuned for details on this.
Nov. 15, 2020:
The PUBLIC COMMENT hearing date for the Segar Cove oyster expansion has been moved, again, to a date not yet specified. Public comment is NO LONGER being taken at the Tues., Nov. 17. public meeting.
When a date for public comment is announced, we will post all the details, plus links to the Zoom meeting.
If you have not registered to speak, you're out of luck. Only those who signed up via email or the Zoom chat window will be allowed to speak. You can still watch any meeting you like.
The Nov. 17th meeting, which begins at 1 pm (LINK), will finish with applicant expert witness cross-examination, then move to the presentation of the opposition case, including expert and other witnesses.
Nov. 13, 2020
Zoom meetings for the Segar Cove oyster proposal are proceeding at a more leisurely pace than expected. The PUBLIC COMMENT portion has been MOVED. Now it's happening on Nov. 17th, beginning at 1:00 pm (EDT).
If you would like to comment, or if you have already registered to speak, that's the meeting to attend.
(Today's meeting (Nov. 13) will continue with testimony from experts on both sides, plus statements, exhibits, etc. from those opposed to the project. That's us.:)
We hope you can be there to show your support for the pond.
Here's a link for the Tues., Nov. 17th Public Comment meeting:
And a link for today's (Nov. 13) meeting, in case you want watch:
Nov. 8, 2020
The document below gives a schedule for the three public Zoom meetings which will determine the fate of the Segar Cove oyster expansion proposal. Please read this carefully, as it gives specific details on how to participate, how to register to speak, how to submit written materials, etc.
The easiest way to register to speak is to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and request a spot. They'll put you on a list to speak during the second meeting, Nov. 13th, beginning at 1:00pm.
Or you can register to speak by using the chat feature during the opening minutes of the first (Nov. 12th) Zoom call. They'll put you on a list for Nov. 13th (as above).
Any additional written comments or materials should be emailed to: email@example.com.
All public comments will be taken during the second, Nov. 13th, meeting, starting at 1:00pm. You must pre-register to speak. Otherwise, all portions of all meetings will be available for viewing only via Zoom links provided.
The first meeting is NEXT THURSDAY. Please spread the word to all your friends and family. A robust public turnout for these meetings is our best chance to stop the expansion of oyster farms in Potter Pond. Let the CRMC know how you feel and help keep the waters of Segar Cove free and open to all!
April 5, 2020
Public Meeting date not yet set
The public meeting to consider the Segar Cove oyster farm proposal has not yet been set. CRMC’s schedule for all meetings is now necessarily uncertain in the face of the CV pandemic. When a firm date is selected, all members of the Save Potter Pond (SPP) mailing list will be notified immediately with all details. Please stay tuned…
January 14, 2020
Public Meeting Coming Soon:
We have heard from the CRMC that the public meeting to decide (for or against) the Segar Cove oyster farm proposal will be sometime between February and March of 2020. We don't yet have a specific date, but at least we have a possible window. Also, we expect that the meeting will be held somewhere in Providence, to better facilitate the attendance of the public and CRMC Council members. We may not get lots of advanced warning about the meeting date, so we're preparing now. You should be, too.
We believe that a strong public showing at that meeting gives us our best chance to defeat this proposal. A good turnout of citizens testifying to the conflict the proposed farm will create with existing and historical public uses of Segar Cove (skiing, tubing, paddleboarding, sailing, clamming, fishing, etc.) will help the members of the full CRMC committee see that an additional 3 acres of floating oyster cages (plus work barges, service boats, etc.) is incompatible with the continued pubic use and enjoyment of Segar Cove.
The meeting will offer members of the public the opportunity to give testimony about the proposed farm. Those who wrote in during the public comment period will be given the chance to speak and air their views. Additionally, the committee will take testimony from the legal team representing three abutting property owners, as well as from the engineering firm they retained to analyze the proposal. The applicant will also have the chance to present his side of the story. Afterwards, the full CRMC committee will decide, yay or nay, on the proposal.
New marker buoys placed on site
FYI, in case you're been on Segar Cove and have been wondering....a new set of orange buoys has been placed at the approximate location of the proposed new oyster farm. These floats are there per CRMC regulations marking the proposed site of an application that is still pending before the council.
The location and siting of the new buoys is approximate, at best. (Very little care was taken in their placement.) The actual dimensions of the submitted proposal may vary widely from the area demarcated by the current buoys. The pending proposal has not changed, nor has the location or acreage of the proposed farm, only the siting of the buoys. (I believe that last year's buoys more accurately represent the actual size and location of farm.)
We will keep you updated on any developments and/or changes to the application.
June 2019 Update: Still Waiting
Summer is here, finally! The weather is getting nice, the water is warming up, clammers are tuning up their rakes, and cinder worms are hatching bringing striped bass and plenty of fishermen into the pond. Best of all, Segar Cove remains free and open to the public, with no oyster farm to be seen. Even the orange buoys marking the proposed site are absent. :)
It's been over a year since the application for a new oyster farm on Segar Cove was filed and CRMC has not yet selected a date for the public meeting to review and decide the issue. Our current understanding, based on information from people close to the process, is that it may be months, at least, or even many months before a date is eventually picked, as a good deal of work remains to be done to prepare the Segar Cove application for public presentation, all while CRMC is busy dealing with the many issues related to the new offshore wind farms. So, while those wheels turn (wind blades spin?), we continue to wait....
Float-In Press Coverage
The Friday, Aug. 10, edition of the Narragansett Times had some great coverage of the July 28, 2018 Segar Cove Float-In. Written by the "Fish Wrap Writer," Todd Corayer, the story clearly and succinctly captures the issues at stake in our fight to keep Segar Cove farm-free. Plus, there's a great photo of the event! Click HERE to read the full story.
If you're interested in fish and fishing, I highly recommend Todd's blog, which is always chock-a-block full of useful and fascinating information: fishwrapwriter.com/
CRMC Meeting Date....October? November?
July 1, 2018: We've heard from the CRMC that the public meeting to consider and decide on the proposed Segar Cove oyster lease will not happen until at least mid-October, at the earliest. This is disappointing as it will certainly discourage a robust pubic showing at that important meeting, and risks disenfranchising seasonal and out of town users and stakeholders. When we get any more information about a possible specific date we'll pass that along promptly.
Rhode Island Monthly Magazine swings and...misses
The June 2018 Rhode Island Monthly Magazine ran a story, "Wade In the Water," written by Ellen Liberman, covering the proposed farm on Segar Cove. While we applaud coverage of this issue from any quarter, we take exception to the generally pro-industry bias demonstrated in this article. From the beginning, with covering illustration depicting unruly (and clueless?) water skiers disrupting the cheerful work of a group of aquaculturists, to the very end, where the applicant is given the final word, the article shows a lamentable (and yet predictable?) skew towards industry, giving very short shrift to the general community sentiment and mischaracterizing public objections to the infringement of public use rights as simple "nimby"ism. This misreads both the arguments being made (public use), and the people making the arguments (most are NOT waterfront property owners.)
A link to the article online could not be found, but you can read a copy HERE.
Hanging Chads Dept.:
The RI Marine Fisheries Council met on Wed., March 13, 2018, to consider the proposed Potter Pond lease. Comments were heard and considered from the applicant, individual Council members and members of the public, after which time the Council voted. The results were stunning: A SPLIT DECISION, with 3 votes opposed, and 3 votes in favor, which is to say the Council voted to make NO recommendation to the CRMC.
As a practical matter, the impact of this vote is hard to quantify, but we here at savepotterpond.org consider this a clear victory for the opposition, as the expectation was for a vote in favor, and the split nature of the outcome is yet further indication of the community's strong feelings on this topic. The Council's conflicted vote mirrors the conflict the lease itself is presenting to other public uses of Segar Cove. The symmetry is hard to ignore.
Many thanks to all who took the time and trouble to attend the meeting and thanks, also, to the RI Marine Fisheries Council for its thoughtful deliberations and professional conduct of the meeting.
See the RIMFC's letter to the CRMC here.